Welcome to the Divorce department of Divorce and FamilyLawService Center. Here we will go over uncontested and contested divorce, as well as no fault and fault options. We will also discuss why a divorce lawyer is important and the similarities and differences in state laws. Other departments within this website that would be useful to visit are Child Support, Child Custody, Separation, and Name Change.

What is divorce?

Divorce is a court proceeding that terminates a valid marriage. Remarriage is only lawful after a divorce is final. There are no guarantees that your previous standard of living will be maintained in the final court order. In fact, the standard of living may inevitably go down due to the simple fact that maintaining one household is cheaper than maintaining two. The fractured relationship and all the emotional heartache will not magically disappear with the final divorce judgement. The idea is to end a fractured relationship, heal yourself, and move on.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is a divorce settlement where issues such as children, property, and financial matters are handled amicably between the spouses. Uncontested divorce proceedings should be the goal of the spouses for three reasons: they tend to be cheaper, with a speedier resolution, and the emotional ramifications to all involved tend to move everyone towards a place of healing much quicker.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce means an agreement cannot be reached between the spouses on certain issues typically regarding the children, property and/or financial matters. These proceedings can drag on for months. Mediation, counseling, and evaluations can rack up costs, not to mention the emotional toll taken on everyone involved. Obviously a divorce proceeding means there is a fractured relationship. The compulsion to work out every perceived wrong done to another and seek revenge causes the financial cost of contested divorces to skyrocket. Some spouses are vindictive and would rather pay high attorney’s fees than give the other spouse, and maybe in turn the children, that money.

No Fault and Fault Options

Because each marriage relationship is different and has many faceted layers, the courts have moved away from discovering whom did what to whom and every state has a no fault divorce option which alleviates some of the blame game. (Some states require a long waiting period of separation before no fault divorce proceedings may begin.) Some thirty states still offer a fault option as well. Grounds for a fault option may include adultery, cruelty, desertion, confinement in prison, or contraction of a venereal disease from one spouse to another.

Is a divorce lawyer necessary?

No two divorce proceedings are the same. Someone whose profession enables them to witness hundreds of divorce proceedings steadies the process. A supportive divorce lawyer is important to protect your best interests and know the laws for your state inside and out. Each spouse should have a separate lawyer.

Variances in State Divorce Laws

State laws handle divorce and vary from state to state. In the United States, statistics hover right around 50% of all marriages ending in divorce. Because no two people are alike, no two marriages are alike. It stands to reason that no two divorces are alike. To help aid in creating some level of consistency, each state has their own laws on divorce. The laws vary from state to state but tend to run similar in some areas. Similar laws from state to state may include alimony, child custody, and property division. However, state laws vary greatly on filing procedures, residency requirements , grounds for divorce, and child support. A divorce lawyer will be well educated on the laws of your state.